The History of Fruit Slots – 2023 Guide

There is a lot of fascinating history attached to fruit slots and it’s quite an interesting story to tell. When you ask a person to think of a slot machine, it’s quite common for a fruit slot to come to mind first. If you want to learn more about the history behind these popular slot machines, read through the entire article to learn more.

The first slot machine that was coin-operated came on the scene more than 130 years ago around 1887. The first machine invented to offer gambling payouts was called the Liberty Bell. It was invented by Charles Fey who was a Bavarian living in San Francisco, California. There is some confusion about the exact date when it was invented but we do know it was in or around 1887

After you know the history of fruit slot machines you may have a better understanding of why fruity slots hold a special place in your heart. When you’re visiting an online casino, it may be worth checking Casino Robots to see if they have any fruit slots available to play for free.

The Liberty Bell


The Liberty Bell slot machine was built to simulate a poker game. It featured 3 spinning reels and each real had 5 symbols. These included:

  • Horseshoes
  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • A golden Liberty Bell
  • Spades

This first slot machine of its kind had a payout table with the biggest jackpot paying out 10 coins equaling 50 cents. In order to get this jackpot, all of the 3 reels would have to display the Liberty Bell. At the time, the machine was a hit and ultimately turned into a raving success.

The Liberty Bell slot machine was also the first of its kind with coin slots. While there were machines developed for gambling before this one was released, they didn’t have any coin slots. This is why the Liberty Bell is considered to be the very first device that can be truly called a slot machine.  It also gave Charles Fey the unique title of being called the “Father of Slots “.

Fey decided not to sell the slot machines but rather rented them out. He received a commission payment for them at a percentage of the revenue they brought in.

The Introduction of the Fruit Slots


The fruit slot machines were introduced in 1907 by a company based in Chicago. It was a modified version of the Liberty Bell machine and it featured colorful fruits on the slots instead of cards and the bell. Some of the fruits displayed on the reels included:

  • Lemons
  • Plums
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Others

These fruity machines quickly became a hit as well and casinos across the globe quickly incorporated them into their games rooms and featured them as their top games.  Players were scrambling to play these new games at and this was truly the start of a historical legacy in the world of slots.

New Anti-Gambling Laws


It wasn’t long before new laws were put into place that prohibited gambling on slot machines. The machines were no longer able to dispense any cash so some quick-thinking individuals decided that they could dispense fruit flavored gum and candy instead as a non-cash payout. As a result, people were still able to play the games and machine owners could not be prosecuted under any of the anti-gambling laws.

By 1910, gamblers could find fruit slot machines just about anywhere in the world. A mass production of 300,000 machines were made in Europe and in the United States. The machines could be played in a number of locations including:

  • Barber shops
  • Cigar stores
  • Saloons
  • Brothels
  • Bowling alleys
  • Many other locations

This was a fantastic work-around of the anti-gambling law at the time and the fruit slot machines gained more popularity than ever. It was the perfect loophole for the strict laws with gamblers still being able to try to beat the odds against the reels of fruit.

Legalization of Gambling


Even though gambling was illegal during the early 1900s this doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going on in the underground world. During prohibition, many people were making their own alcohol and drinking didn’t go away. There were many illegal slots operating at the time but they were kept in hidden locations and you had to know where to find them.

In the United States, gambling became legal in the state of Nevada in 1931. A bill was passed into law in order to provide a major source of revenue to this state. There weren’t a lot of people that lived in Nevada at the time but after 1945 the state became extremely popular as Las Vegas became known as the gambling city of the country. By the 1960s, there were huge casinos and world-renowned hotels in Las Vegas with people travelling from across the world to get to this destination.

The legalization of slot machines didn’t mean that the fruit slots disappeared. They remained and were able to provide cash payouts once again. The game back then was similar to the slot machines that are still in play meaning that you would have to get 3 of a kind in a row to get a payout. Different machines had various payouts for the fruits that appeared.

The Nostalgia of Fruit Slot Machines


Fruity slots still provide a sentimental feeling to many slot machine lovers since these machines come with a big historical legacy. Since the legalization of gambling, technology has evolved and slot machines have entered a new realm of existence. There are now many different rows available on most machines and a variety of different features being offered. Some of the newer model slots still incorporate fruits into the reels to provide a modern gaming experience with a classic look.

You can still find the old-style fruit slot machines in some casinos, however, both in physical land-based casinos and at online gaming sites. These are classic games that are still exciting to play, even though there are many other slots now available with high-end features.

Written by Philip Goguen

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